|Traded as||NASDAQ: TRMB|
|Industry||Land Survey, Construction, Agriculture, Transportation, Telecommunications, Asset tracking, Mapping, Utilities, Mobile Resource Management, Government, RFID|
|Founder(s)||Charles Trimble, et al.|
|Headquarters||Sunnyvale, California, United States|
|Key people||Steven Berglund (CEO)|
|Revenue||$2.0 Billion for FY 2012|
|Employees||6,561 (as of 2012)|
Trimble Navigation, Ltd., headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is a provider of advanced positioning solutions, most notably GPS (Global Positioning Systems) receivers, laser rangefinders and inertial navigation systems. The company is best known in the fields of surveying, construction, agriculture, scientific instrumentation, and mobile and fleet management. As of 2011, the company employs more than 5,301 employees who are located in more than 30 countries around the world – approximately 54% of its employees are located outside the United States. Steve Berglund has served as Trimble's CEO since 1999.
Trimble is divided into four core market segments: Engineering and Construction, Field Solutions, Mobile Solutions, and Advanced Devices. Since 1999, Trimble's revenues have grown from approximately $270 million to over $2.0 billion in 2012. The company sells primarily through a worldwide network of distribution partners.
Trimble Navigation was founded in 1978 by Charles Trimble and two partners from Hewlett Packard, initially operating from Los Altos, California. Prior to founding Trimble Navigation, Trimble was manager of Integrated Circuit Research and Development at Hewlett-Packard’s Santa Clara Division.
Initially, Trimble based its products on LORAN technology, a ground-based navigation, location and timing system in U.S. coastal waters, and focused its products on the marine navigation market. At the same time, the Global Positioning System (GPS) was being developed by the U.S. as a dual-use technology.
The company began to focus resources on harnessing and expanding the power of GPS, thus spearheading the development of GPS for commercial and consumer applications, as well as military use of the new technology. In 1982, Trimble began engineering products that would take advantage of the U.S. Government's newly launched GPS satellites. In 1984, Trimble introduced the world's first commercial scientific-research and geodectic-survey products based on GPS for oil-drilling teams on offshore platforms.
From 1984 to 1988, Trimble greatly increased its family of products for scientific and research applications, as well as marine navigation markets. The next two years were explosive growth years, with Trimble receiving the first of its many U.S. and foreign patents for advances in GPS and other technology.
In 1989, Trimble acquired the Navigation Systems Division of TAU Corporation and began developing differential GPS (DGPS) technology to provide increased accuracy for the fleet management market. Trimble also made headway into new markets in 1990 by acquiring a New Zealand company, Datacom Software Research Ltd., enabling Trimble to offer new survey and mapping software products.
In 1992, Trimble developed real-time kinematic (RTK) technology, allowing moment-by-moment GPS updates while on the move. For surveyors, this was revolutionary; GPS equipment now enabled them to do topographic mapping, stakeout, Geographic Information System (GIS) data acquisition, and as-built surveys in real-time.
Over the next several years, Trimble rapidly advanced GPS technology. In 1994, the company developed the first GPS receiver small enough to be integrated on a PC card. Just a year later, Trimble introduced the first 'plug-and-play' GPS sensor for laptops and PDAs. Trimble became the first company to put GPS and cellular communications on a single board in 1998; and in 1999, Trimble GPS was used in Seiko Epson's Locatio communication device, the world's first combination PDA, wireless phone, personal navigator and digital camera. In 2000, Trimble was the first to develop a GPS architecture - FirstGPS™ technology - that uses the host product's CPU, a huge advance in enabling GPS technology to be integrated into more and more products.
Steve Berglund took over as president and CEO in March 1999, and remains in the position today. Trimble became the first GPS company to go public in 1999, offering stock on the NASDAQ (TRMB). That same year, its product line became solely dedicated to GPS.
Since 1999, Trimble has grown its business through a series of acquisitions. Its acquisitions include Spectra Precision Group, Tripod Data Systems, Advanced Public Safety, Inc., Apache Technologies, Acutest Engineering Solutions Ltd, Applanix, Géo-3D, INPHO, Gatewing, Meridian Systems, NTech Industries, Pacific Crest, Quantm, QuickPen International, SECO Mfg. Co., Inc., Visual Statement, XYZ Solutions, Inc, Tekla, ThingMagic and Punch Telematix NV.
Market Segments 
Engineering and Construction 
Trimble’s Engineering and Construction segment composes 55% of the company’s overall revenue. Products in the segment address the Civil Engineering, Building Construction, Surveying, Geospatial, Energy, Cadastre and Land Management industries and are sold through a worldwide network of independent dealers.
Software and Information Technology capabilities within the Engineering and Construction segment include civil engineering alignment selection, design and data preparation software, BIM software, cloud-based collaboration solutions, applications for advanced surveying and geospatial data collection and analysis and many application specific field and office software components.
Field Solutions 
The Field Solutions segment composes 25% of the company’s total revenue, addressing the Agriculture and Mapping and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) markets. Distribution for Field Solutions is primarily through a network of independent dealers and business partners
The company’s agriculture products consist of guidance and positioning systems, automated application systems information management solutions, and solutions for leveling fields. Handheld data collectors are the core of the Mapping and GIS product line enabling data collection and storage that incorporates the location of the asset.
Mobile Solutions 
Trimble’s Mobile Solutions segment generates 13% of the company’s total revenue. Solutions in this segment are related to field service management, transportation and logistics, forestry, and public safety. The Mobile Solutions segment provides both hardware and software applications for managing mobile work, mobile workers, and mobile assets. As opposed to the engineering and construction and field solutions segments, Trimble sells its mobile solutions direct to end-users.
Advanced Devices 
The Advanced Devices segment is the smallest of Trimble’s market segments, generating only 7% of the company’s total revenue. Advanced Devices includes the product lines from its Embedded Technologies, Timing, Applanix, Trimble Outdoors, and Military and Advanced Systems, or MAS, and ThingMagic businesses. With the exception of Trimble Outdoors and Applanix, these businesses share several common characteristics: they are hardware centric, generally market to original equipment manufacturers, or OEM, system integrators or service providers, and have products that can be utilized in a number of different end-user markets and applications. Solutions in this segment are sold direct to end-user.
|Year||Company Acquired||Acquired Technology/Impacted Industry|
|1989||Navigation Systems Division of TAU Corporation||Fleet Management|
|1990||Datacom Software Research Ltd.||Survey and Mapping Software|
|2000||Spectra Precision Group||Positioning solutions for construction, surveying and agricultural markets|
|2000||Tripod Data Systems (TDS)||Data collection software and hardware for the land survey, construction and GIS markets|
|2003||Applanix Corporation||Systems that integrate Inertial Navigation System (INS) and GPS technologies|
|2003||MENSI S.A.||Terrestrial 3D scanning technology|
|2004||TracerNet Corporation||Wireless fleet management solutions|
|2004||GeoNav GmbH||Field data collection solutions for the cadastral survey market|
|2005||Pacific Crest||Wireless communication technologies|
|2005||Apache Technologies, Inc.||Laser products for construction leveling and alignment|
|2005||MobileTech Solutions||Field workforce automation|
|2006||Advanced Public Safety, Inc. (APS)||Mobile and handheld software products used by law enforcement, fire-rescue and other public safety agencies|
|2006||The XYZs of GPS, Inc (Acquired intellectual property assets)||Real-time GNSS reference station, integrity monitoring and dynamic positioning software|
|2006||Quantm International, Inc. and its subsidiary Quantm Ltd||Transportation route optimization software|
|2006||Eleven Technology, Inc.||Mobile application software|
|2006||BitWyse Solutions, Inc||2D and 3D software applications for engineering and construction plant design|
|2006||Visual Statement Inc||Software tools for crime and collision incident investigation, analysis and reconstruction|
|2006||XYZ Solutions, Inc||Real-time, interactive 3D intelligence software|
|2006||Meridian Systems, Inc.||Construction project management technologies|
|2006||Spacient Technologies||Enterprise field service management and mobile mapping solutions for municipalities and utilities|
|2007||INPHO GmbH||Photogrammetry and digital surface modeling|
|2007||Ingenieurbüro Breining||Field data collection and office survey software solutions (German market)|
|2007||UtilityCenter® assets from privately held UAI, Inc||Automated workflow solutions for utilities market|
|2008||Crain Enterprises, Inc||Accessories for the geomatics, surveying, mapping, and construction industries|
|2008||HHK Datentechnik GmbH||Office and field software solutions for the cadastral survey market in Germany|
|2008||Géo-3D Inc.||Roadside infrastructure asset inventory solutions|
|2008||SECO Manufacturing Company||Engineering and construction accessories|
|2008||Acquired the assets of RolleiMetric from Rollei GmbH||Metric Camera Systems|
|2008||Acquired assets of Tru Count, Inc.||Air and electric clutches for agriculture|
|2008||TopoSys GmbH||Aerial data collection systems|
|2008||Rawson Control Systems||Hydraulic and electronic controls for the agriculture equipment industry|
|2008||FastMap and GeoSite software assets from KOREC||Optimized software for Mapping and GIS|
|2009||Assets of Callidus Precision Systems GmbH||3D laser scanning for industrial market|
|2009||QuickPen International||Building Information Modeling (BIM) for HVAC, mechanical construction and plumbing industries|
|2009||NTech Industries||Crop sensing technology|
|2009||Acutest Engineering Solutions, Ltd.||Vehicle diagnostics and telematics technologies|
|2009||Assets of CTN Data Service, LLC||Integrated office and mobile software solutions for agriculture professionals and farmers|
|2010||Pondera Engineers LLC||Software tools for siting, designing, optimizing, and maintaining high-voltage power transmission and distribution lines|
|2010||LET Systems||Incident and outage management system (OMS) solutions for utilities|
|2010||Definiens' Earth Sciences business assets||eCognition® software, an image analysis software suite for geospatial applications|
|2010||Accubid Systems||Project management and service management software and services for electrical and mechanical contractors|
|2010||Cengea Solutions Inc||Spatially enabled business operations and supply chain management software for the forestry, agriculture and natural resource industries|
|2010||Terralite assets from Novariant||XPS technology|
|2010||ThingMagic, Inc.||RFID Technology|
|2010||Tata AutoComp Mobility Telematics Limited||Telematics solutions and Mobile Resource Management services in India|
|2010||Punch Telematix NV (rebranded as Trimble Transport & Logistics)||Telematics and transport management solutions for the transport and logistics sector|
|2011||Suite of software solutions from Mesta Entreprenør AS||Software suite for Nordic construction market|
|2011||Assets related to the OmniSTAR™ from Fugro N.V.||Land-based correction services|
|2011||GEDO CE Trolley System and software were acquired from Sinning Vermessungsbedarf GmbH||GEDO CE Trolley System and Software for Railway|
|2011||Ashtech S.A.S||Survey solutions|
|2011||Dynamic Survey Solutions, Inc.||Survey solutions for seismic surveying|
|2011||MyTopo||Print and digital maps for outdoor enthusiasts|
|2011||Yamei Electronics Technology, Co. Ltd||Automotive electronics products|
|2011||Tekla Corporation||BIM Software|
|2011||PeopleNet||Onboard computing and mobile communications systems for fleet management|
|2012||StruCad and StruEngineer business from AceCad Software||Software to extend BIM solutions|
|2012||Plancal of Horgen||3D CAD/CAE and ERP software provider|
|2012||Gatewing||UAVs, aerial surveying solutions|
|2012||SketchUp||3D Modeling Tool|
|2012||TMW Systems, Inc.||Enterprise transportation management and logistics software|
|2012||Refraction Technology, Inc.||Seismic sensors and high-frequency data logging systems|
|2013||ALK Technologies, Inc.||Professional GPS Navigation Software|
Joint Ventures 
Trimble has embarked on a number of joint ventures with companies that include Caterpillar, Nikon Corporation, and Hilti. In April 2002, Trimble and Caterpillar Inc. began a joint venture, Caterpillar Trimble Controls Technologies LLC, to develop the next generation of advanced electronic guidance and control products for earthmoving machines in the construction, mining and waste industries. The joint venture is the exclusive supplier to Trimble and Caterpillar, who each market, distribute, service and support the products using both companies' independent distribution channels.
Trimble and Caterpillar announced a second joint venture in October 2008. The new company, VirtualSite Solutions, integrates the expertise of both companies in the areas of product design and software development to transform the way contractors manage their businesses. A new distribution channel, SITECH, was established to bring these technologies to customers and other users. Trimble has primary responsibility for managing the SITECH dealer relationship.
In March 2003, Trimble and Nikon Corporation formed a 50-50 joint venture in Japan, Nikon-Trimble Co., Ltd., to address Japan’s survey instruments market in March 2003. As part of the joint venture, Trimble acquired a 50 percent ownership stake in Nikon-Trimble Co., Ltd., which assumed the operations of Nikon Geotecs Co., Ltd. in Japan. The new entity focuses on the design and manufacture of surveying instruments including mechanical total stations and related products. In Japan, the joint venture distributes Nikon's survey products as well as Trimble's survey products including GPS and robotic total stations. Outside of Japan, Trimble became the exclusive distributor of Nikon survey and construction products.
In May 2009, Trimble and the China Aerospace Science & Industry Academy of Information Technology (CASIC-IT) signed a definitive agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture in China. Based in Beijing, the joint venture combines the commercial expertise, knowledge and technologies of both CASIC-IT and Trimble to develop, manufacture and distribute in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers and systems in China, based on the Chinese Compass satellite system, for civil applications in the commercial positioning, navigation and timing markets.
In November 2009, Trimble and the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. Ltd. (CREEC) signed a definitive agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture in China. Based in Chengdu, the joint venture leverages Trimble's commercial positioning, communications and software technologies and CREEC's expertise in rail design and construction to develop and provide digital railway solutions that address the design, construction and maintenance for the Chinese railway industry. Trimble and Russian Space Systems formed a 50/50 joint venture in Russia in 2010. The joint venture, Rusnavgeoset, was officially launched at the GLONASS Forum in Moscow on June 1, 2010. Based in Moscow, Rusnavgeoset is responsible for selling commercial Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) geodetic network infrastructure systems localized for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
To address the building construction industry, Trimble and the Hilti Group reached a definitive agreement to form Intelligent Construction Tools, LLC in September 2010. The joint venture, 50 percent owned by Trimble and 50 percent owned by Hilti, focuses on leveraging technologies from both companies to develop measuring solutions for the building construction trades. The joint venture will supply products to Trimble and Hilti. Each will market, distribute, service and support the products using its independent distribution or direct sales channels.
In 2009, Trimble was recognized on Forbes’ list of the top 400 best big companies. This was the first time Trimble made the list. In prior years, the company was also featured on Forbes’ 100 Best Mid-Caps in America (2005, 2006, and 2008) and Forbes’ 200 Best Small Companies (2005) lists.
- "Trimble Navigation 2011 Annual Report". Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- "About Trimble Navigation: History". Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- Trimble plots route to European growth in Mobile Resource Management with acquisition of Punch Telematix, news from company website, retrieved 2011-07-11
- "Trimble to Enhance its Office-to-Field Platform with the Acquisition of Google's SketchUp 3D Modeling Platform". Trimble. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- Trimble to Acquire StruCad Business From AceCad Software to Extend Tekla's Structural Steel Industry Presence
- "Forbes 400 Best Big Companies". 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- "Forbes.com". Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- Official website
- Trimble Dimensions User Conference
- Trimble Mobile Resource Management
- trimbleoutdoors.com, Trimble Outdoors
- outdoorrugged.com, Online community created to encourage conversations between professionals about developing and using rugged computers in harsh outdoor environments.
- trimble.co.uk, Trimble UK GPS home page
- aps.us, Advanced Public Safety (APS) Public Safety Software.
- accubid.com, Accubid home page